Sunday, December 27, 2009

ZooLights

Saturday we thought we would head to ZooLights on a day that it wasn't raining...
instead of rain we got long lines and freezing weather.
Good, cold adventures!


Sela is bundled up!

Quinn, Ryan, and Sela in the stroller in front of the train light display at ZooLights

Blurry self-portrait...I am so cold!

The Wizard of Oz light display as we wait in line to ride the train

Quinn and Ryan looking at the lights as we ride on the train

We made it! Through long lines in 32 degree weather!
We're ready to go home and get WARM!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Quinn as Mickey

The other night Quinn showed up in the kitchen like this...

video



video

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Scale: Part II

In the weight loss saga, five more pounds have been lost since Thanksgiving.

I hope I don't find them for Christmas :)

16 pounds to go!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Putting Together the Advent Calendar




I would never describe myself as crafty. I'm overwhelmed by the idea of making cute things and I GREATLY admire people who thrive on making cool stuff. I put something together every so often but it has to be an idea that really connects to me in order to pull out the hot glue gun and hit the scrapbook aisle. Making the Advent Calendar was one idea that snowballed. I thought I'd share how simple it is to do and where the idea came from.

I had been looking in a Pottery Barn catalog and saw a large neutral colored calendar that had large tags pinned to it with each day numbered until Christmas. They had hung ornaments on each pin with the idea that you'd hang their cool ornaments on each day until you got to Christmas. I really liked the calendar--it was really simple and the tags were cool, but I didn't want to hang ornaments. I had been thinking of a way to do Advent and to mark each day until Christmas and the idea of doing words in place of the ornaments came to mind. I love words and it is a great way to have conversations about Jesus and why we are preparing for Christmas.

On to how I made the calendar...I wrote out how I did this two years ago but I don't know how to link to it :) I revamped it a bit this year and originally had each day of December on it but because Advent started in November I needed to add some squares to it and remove the numbers so here is how it stands now:

1. I picked up foam board (big enough to fit 4 rows of 7 4x4 squares), fabric to cover the board, staples, pins with little colored balls on the end (they're a little nicer to look at), 4x4 scrapbook adhesive squares (you can peel the backing off the square and stick them on), ribbon to hang the board, some sturdy paper for printing words, thin ribbon to attach to the back of the words so they can hang on the pins.

2. I covered the foam board with the fabric and stapled it on the back so it was snugly covered. I stapled ribbon on to the back to use to hang the calendar on the wall.

3. I put the squares into four rows and arranged them the way I wanted then peeled off the backings and stuck them to the board.

4. I stuck a pin at the top of each square.

5. I chose words to use for each day, typed them all with different fonts, and then printed them out. I cut each one out and then used the small thin ribbon to make into a loop and then tape to the back of the word. I keep all the words in an envelope and Quinn chooses a word from it. Here are the words I chose (but I need to add two more words):

hope, peace, joy, love, Jesus, Immanuel, Advent, sacrifice, truth, patience, forgiveness, belief, family, Holy Spirit, help, grace, salvation, resurrection, life, thanksgiving, praise, worship, glorify, faithful, mercy

Each Sunday has a big word we talk about and read verses with (1st Hope, 2nd Peace, 3rd Joy, 4th Love, and Christmas Day is Jesus).

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Is this scale broken?

All of the maternity clothes have been washed and packed away--I have a box of loaned clothes in my car just ready to be returned. I finally had my six week follow up appointment. It was six weeks late but that is a whole other story.

Towards the end of my pregnancy, even my maternity clothes weren't fitting and I hadn't really thought about how.much.weight.I.gained.

Ummmm...I was so surprised to really look.at.the.numbers.

Yep.

So. I had to think--do I really want to blog about this and I think the answer is--yes.

At my appointment I found out what my final weight was--a few pounds less than I had thought but holy.smokes.

What I do know is that I've lost 24 pounds and have 21 pounds to go. More will be lost and I'll be happy to report it!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Breakfast for dinner

While Ryan has evening class once a week, I always make breakfast for dinner. This week it was delicious pancakes. Mickey Mouse and Snowmen.



Monday, December 7, 2009

Looking for a Routine

I've been sick for the last three weeks: bronchitis and a sinus infection. I'm eager to feel better. I think I'm feeling better. I have so many things I want to be doing but don't have the energy to complete a lot of it. In all of my thinking and "list-ing" I'm trying to establish a better routine for our family.

A blog I like to read is The Homespun Heart and last week she focused on Home--cleaning, caring for, and decluttering. I really enjoy what she shares and I'm ready to tackle my own lists as I get more energy.

I was able to plan out our dinner menu for the next two weeks which made me feel good. I'm in the process of putting together a new weekly routine for cleaning the house and getting the laundry done. I want to be intentional about including Quinn in helping around the house--he loves to help! I also want to plan some special activities for Quinn so we can have fun together, learn some new things, and he won't be bored! I think this will alleviate some parenting challenges which is a whole other discussion!

I'm excited to feel better and ready to show a little love on the homefront.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holly Jolly Christmas

After Thanksgiving we started a new family tradition--and it is fun to start traditions as a little family of four! Friday morning I made chocolate chip scones which were delicious and Ryan made us coffee. We all had a yummy breakfast together, turned on the Christmas music, and decorated the house.

Quinn and Ryan put some lights outside along our walkway and the nativity scenes, stockings, candles, and snowmen made the rounds inside.

We cleared the way for our tree which we got on Saturday! We headed out to a tree farm in Dundee that was selling noble firs for $5 each--U Pick, they cut! We walked through their farm at dusk and got just the right tree for our house.
Quinn and I decorated the Christmas tree--I decorated the top and he decorated the bottom (there are a lot of candy canes on the bottom)!


At Sunday School Quinn made a little clay Advent wreath and we've been able to light a little candle and read a verse these last two Sundays. Our Advent calendar is up and each day Quinn chooses a word to hang up. We get to talk about what the word means (like "mercy") and Quinn looks forward to hanging it up.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Here are a few of my favorite things!

It seems like our blustery weather has me singing songs from "The Sound of Music"...so here are a few of my favorite things!
  • Dark chocolate
  • Coffee and coffee shops
  • Watching a movie
  • A worship service
  • Finding a good deal!
  • Sara Groves, Fernando Ortega, and Rich Mullins
  • Reading a good book
  • A conversation with Quinn
  • Sleep
  • Good ice cream
  • Peace
  • My family

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sela's birth story

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and December is close behind it. I am amazed at how these last three months have FLOWN by SO quickly! A lot of things I thought I would have finished by now (like thank you notes) but we pass into the next month and I remember that I didn't get to that list of things! One of those things has been to share Sela's birth story.

Ryan and I had quite a few conversations about what Quinn's birth was like and in many ways it was very, very difficult. Even before we were aware of his health issues, it had been a difficult experience for me and I think I had to work through some of that in preparation for having Sela. Those were good conversations about what happened and what we could do to have a different experience. There were some basic things that we hoped like--we hope we have a healthy baby and a safe delivery. But then there were other things like--if my water breaks I hope it is in the bathroom at our house--or--I hope I can shave my legs before we have this baby--or--I hope the epidural totally works--or--I hope I'm never by myself when a doctor comes in the room to talk about the baby.

I thought I had gone into labor early on August 25th--I called our midwife, went to the birth center just to see, and while I was dilated I was not in active labor or progressing so I went home. Sela was due on the September 11th but our midwife thought she would come earlier so I wasn't nervous about that possibility, just anxious that we wouldn't miss the fact that I was in labor because that had happened with Quinn. With Quinn we went in for our normal appointment where I was dilated to a 5 and I had missed the memo that I was in labor :)

Each day we would wonder, is this the day? One day Quinn got to watch "Cars"--twice--because I was very tired. But boy were we ready for this little girl to arrive! Our bags were packed, we had our delivery CDs made, our friend Carrie was going to come be our "doula for no moola" and take pictures :) We had a plan for Quinn and I had my special bottle of Tuberose shower gel to be able to use post baby delivery. We were ready.

On the morning of September 1st I had gone in to use the bathroom, and I'll keep this part short, but I will say that my first prayer for my water to break at home in our bathroom was answered. Although, I did tell Ryan I wasn't sure it had broken because, well, I was going to the bathroom. Yes, I did just share that in the blog world. It was about 7:30 am and we started making "the phone calls" to family, Carrie, and our midwife, Nan. Quinn, Ryan, and I drove to the hospital to check in and my parents came to pick up Quinn. I was thankful that this all started in the morning and I felt sure we would have a baby while it was still daylight.

We got settled in, connected with our nurse Pam, and soon Carrie arrived (yeah CR!) We got our music going and continued to hurry up and wait. I was dilated at a 3 and contractions weren't very close together. We were able to talk about what we wanted to happen (like having an epidural) and what we were hoping for. The Providence Birth Center staff is so great and our midwife and her assistant are so great--we were in such great hands! I was walking around our room and eventually Ryan went to get lunch and Carrie and I walked the room some more. We talked about the fact that the contractions still weren't super intense and wondered when they might speed up a bit. Perhaps it was because we were talking about it but the contractions began to intensify. Stopping to breathe through a contraction, then walk a little, breathe through a contraction, walk a little--and they were coming closer together.

Time to get checked again and now I was dilated to a 6! And, time for an epidural! With Quinn I had an epidural when I was dilated to an 8 and I honestly believe it had no impact because I felt everything and could hardly breathe. But this time around, the epidural was AMAZING and WONDERFUL and I could have a conversation with Ryan, Carrie, our nurses, and Nan. It had been really important to me to have a clear mind in case something happened with the baby and I needed to be coherent and not just trying to manage the childbirth pain.

Things were moving right along. We were excited and nervous and eager. I was settled in bed, things were being prepped for Sela's delivery and we were getting ready to meet our daughter! I am very much a music person and we had made two CDs for the delivery. Each of the songs we had chosen were special and encouraging and something I would want to hear when meeting a new life. Some of the songs were "At the Cross" by Vineyard Music, "All the Way the Savior Leads Me" by Rich Mullins, "First Song that I Sing" by Sara Groves, "Sleeps with Butterflies" by Tori Amos, "How Beautiful" by Twila Paris, "Landslide" by Stevie Nicks, and "Blackbird" by Sarah McLachlan. One special song was one by my cousin Tyrone called "This is Beautiful". When we were pregnant with Sela, I always identified that song with her and of course it made the delivery CD.

The team was assembled, my body was doing everything it needed to do in order to deliver this baby, and it was time to start pushing. I could hear our delivery CD switching to "This is Beautiful" and I started to cry. It seemed like a such a gift to have that song playing as we met Sela for the first time. We told everyone why the song was so important to us and that it was my cousin singing--and I had someone keep repeating it while we were pushing. Oh, it was so sweet! It was also such that our team knew that when Quinn was born with intestinal blockage he had no bowel movement which alerted us to CF, and as Carrie said, she had been praying that Sela would arrive with an immediate bowel movement.

Ryan told Nan Sela's name for the first time and after 20 minutes of pushing Nan and her assistant Tamara ushered Sela into the world at 2:36pm to the song "This is Beautiful". Everyone was crying. And, in answer to prayer, Nan announced, "She's pooping!" Good girl, Sela! And then Sela was in our arms and Ryan cut the umbilical cord and she had dark hair and looked like her brother.

There were so many little things about Sela's delivery that were an answer to prayer and little things that were special to us. Our day nurse that came on to be with us had been our night nurse the one night we were at the hospital with Quinn. In fact, Nurse Megan gave Quinn his first bath and she gave Sela her first bath. Our night nurse, Cori, had been a nursing student and part of Quinn's delivery and now she was with us for a few nights to help with Sela. It was so great!

It was wonderful to hang out, introduce Quinn to Sela (what a sweet moment), and Quinn got to announce Sela's name to the grandparents. And to hold a little 6 pound, 15 ounces and 19 inch long baby girl--praise God!

We are thankful for many things this season and this special delivery is just one of them!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sela is negative for cystic fibrosis

We spent the morning at OHSU which was an adventure because of the swine flu. At the check in area the front desk people were directing people to sit in the flu symptoms section or the non flu symptoms section. Lots of people with masks and lots of hand sanitizer. My goodness! Thankfully it was just Ryan, Sela, and me but we do take Quinn up next week. Masks for everyone!

We had Sela's sweat test appointment--she was a real trooper! She was wrapped up really warmly with two little "thingies" (that isn't that medical term but I don't know what it is) were attached to her arms to collect sweat. And sweat she did! This is great because it is hard to get sweat from little ones to be able to test for CF. They collected a great sample and said we would get a call this afternoon about the results.

So we waited all afternoon knowing that her first screening had come back negative but we wanted to have that final stamp of approval.

It was after 4 and we still hadn't heard so I finally called the CF clinic's nurse and left a message--"please call us!" Our nurse Ben, who is the BEST nurse around, called us about 4:30. He said that since he was calling us and not the doctor...there was good news. Her test came back clearly negative!

Praise God! We are so thankful and are still trying to let this soak in. I think I still have some mixed emotions. So glad for Sela and at the same time I feel very positive for Quinn. So glad she won't have to endure whatever issues CF could bring, but so thankful for Quinn's health and hopeful for him.

The sweaty little girl just got a nice bath. She smells good. She has lots of little rolls covered up in pink pajamas. Her big brother is in bed in his favorite fireman pajamas, sound asleep with his feeding tube hooked up. We are thankful for these two and the privilege to be their parents.

Amen.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Yeah for Sela!

Sela is growing and changing and making us smile each day. She is very attentive and will focus with a "furrowed brow" as she gazes intently at you. She is smiling and cooing--if you talk to her she'll often coo back. She is eating very well and I usually get up with her twice during the night. Next week we go in for her two month check up and we'll get her official weight then but we did our own little "weigh in" and she was 9 pounds, 2 ounces as of October 21st and she was 6 pounds, 15 ounces at birth.

Sela's early initial screening for cystic fibrosis came back negative...we are feeling very cautiously optimistic that Sela does not have CF. We will go up to OHSU on the 29th to do a sweat test for her which is considered the golden standard for CF testing. It is very promising that her initial tests came back negative for CF and we'll be able to have immediate results after the test on the 29th
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Here are some photos of Sela from each week...it is fun to see the changes!

Sela Ruth Dougherty 9/1/2009
Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4
(notice Sela's "furrowed brow"--a typical Sela look)


Week 5

Week 6
Sela has been smiling for a little while... it usually involves her closing one eye and giving you a little grin

Week 7
Celebrating Ryan's birthday with a family outing to Chapters


All things Fireman

Quinn is still thrilled with all things related to firemen...fire stations, fire engines, firemen, fire hydrants, well, you get the picture. In the last month we've received an awesome fire fighter outfit and found a sweet pair of fire fighter pajamas. The fire engines have been well used and many family members and house items have been saved! We have a costume set for Halloween!





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Monday, October 19, 2009

Coming up for air...

Whew! It has been almost one month since I posted on this blog--where do the weeks go! We have pictures to share of Sela and Quinn and stories to tell! So this little post is to say that I'll be posting more so stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Daddy Date to the Spruce Goose

Quinn and Ryan went on a Daddy Date to the Evergreen Aviation Museum on Friday. They had an awesome time checking out all the airplanes, the Spruce Goose, and all things aviation.





Monday, September 21, 2009

Sela, Sela, Sela

Sela is growing, growing, growing! On the 18th she weighed 7 pounds and 7 ounces so she has gained back her birth weight and surpassed it quickly! She will be three weeks old tomorrow. She is still sleepy but has longer times where she is looking around and checking things out. She likes to be swaddled and she likes to eat. In fact, when she wants to eat or wants her diaper changed she can really let you know! She doesn't hold anything back. She hangs out in her sling and it usually puts her right to sleep. She is sweet and dad, mom, and big brother are enjoying her very much. Here are some pictures through the last two weeks--Sela sleeping, acting a little more awake, our first trip to church a week ago, with Grandma Dougherty and Quinn, and with Grandpa Dougherty.

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First Day of Preschool

Quinn's first day of preschool was last week and these are a few pictures of the excited boy. He didn't want to "pose" for his pictures but you can see his red school bucket and a quick smile as he heads up the stairs to class. For two and a half hours, two days a week, Quinn gets to go to chapel, have a music class, play with 9 other boys and girls (three girls from our circle of friends), and continue to learn which he is eager to do. He loves figuring out how to spell things, telling us all the letters he sees, how to spell Sela's name, and playing knights, firemen, trains, or any other matter of fun.